Ask a Pastor Column
July 15, 2021
Presenting Biblical answers to tough questions
Q: What does the phrase “’Vengeance is Mine,’ says the Lord.” really mean?
A: “Vengeance is mine,” Is an often repeated promise from God to right the wrongs that surround us in this world (Deuteronomy 32:35; Psalm 94:1; Romans 12:19). Any time we see wrong done to ourselves or others we can often feel a strong desire for payback or revenge. If we act on this desire the Bible calls it taking vengeance. While the Bible does not say that wanting justice is wrong it does tell us we are not to take justice into our own hands (Romans 12:17-21). Instead, we must trust God to handle it; vengeance belongs to Him.
When we choose not to avenge ourselves we remember that God did not judge us according to our own sins and show our willingness to extend others the same mercy (Matthew 18:23-35). We also “give place to the wrath of God.” (Romans 12:19), giving Him an open field to handle the situation with perfect skill and justice. God can do this in many ways but His punishment always fits the crime perfectly (for an example of God’s poetic justice see Haman’s arrogant hatred in Esther 3:1-6, with his humble pie in Esther 6:1-11). We can also rest assured that God will reward us for our patience and faith, regardless of what happens to the offender (1 Peter 2:20-23).
God’s hope and desire is that all would come to him for forgiveness and pardon (1 Timothy 2:3). However He also knows when consequences for sin are needed, and as a loving Father and a righteous Judge we can trust Him to do what is best. Only God is wise enough to find the perfect balance between vengeance and grace in a given situation. This is why we must always leave payback in His capable hands.
If you have a question that you would like a Biblical answer to you can send it via email to [email protected] or by mail to Formoso Church; P.O. Box 66; Formoso, Kan. 66942